News Release

What is Bahrain Trying to Hide?


HUWAIDA ARRAF, huwaida.arraf at
RADHIKA SAINATH, radhika.sainath at
Arraf and Sainath are lawyers and human rights activists who, as part of the Witness Bahrain initiative, spent a week in Bahrain before being deported over the weekend. The two of them are now in New York City and were on “Democracy Now!” this morning “U.S.-Backed Bahraini Forces Arrest and Deport Two American Peace Activists Acting as Human Rights Observers.”

The group Witness Bahrain just posted a petition on its website: “The Obama administration is currently moving forward with a new set of arms sales to Bahrain despite the well-documented, egregious human rights violations perpetrated by the government against pro-democracy protesters over the past year. Since the start of Bahrain’s ongoing revolution on February 14, 2011, U.S.-manufactured and supplied weapons, including teargas, Humvees and Apache helicopters have been used by the Bahraini government to violently attack civilians. It is time to stop supplying Bahrain with the tools to kill and repress its people.

“Despite congressional opposition to a $53 million dollar arms sale to Bahrain, the Obama Administration is pushing through the sale using a legal loophole that would allow him to avoid notifying Congress and the public by breaking up the sales into small packages of under $1 million each. …”

NABEEL RAJAB, nabeel.rajab at
Rajab is president of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights and is regularly tweeting.

ROBERT NAIMAN, naiman at
Naiman is policy director at Just Foreign Policy and just wrote the piece “What I Learned at the Airport in Bahrain,” which states: “When I came to Bahrain, it certainly wasn’t with the intention of spending my whole time in the country in the airport. I wanted to see what was going on in the country, not to see what was going on in the airport. But the Bahrain authorities would not let me enter the country. At this writing, it’s 5 p.m. local time. My flight got in at 2:15 a.m. I have been informed that the Director of Immigration has decided that I shall not have a visa to enter Bahrain…”